U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 85 counterfeit guitars at Washington Dulles International Airport coming from China on June 9. If authentic, these guitars would’ve retailed for a collective $260,000.
Of the 85 guitars, 72 were counterfeit Gibsons. The remaining 13 included fakes of CF Martin, Fender, Kramer and Taylor. The most expensive counterfeit of the lot was a false Gibson Les Paul “signed” by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash that was sold for $8,000. Other Gibsons included “signatures” from Les Paul himself, who died in 2009 and seems like an especially ballsy move to try and counterfeit, and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.
The guitars were destined for 31 states in total, with California owning 10 of ’em. Then locally to the D.C. area, four were destined for Virginia, three for Pennsylvania and three for New Jersey, two for West Virginia, and one for Delaware. This seizure follows the CBP’s seizure of 36 counterfeit guitars also at Dulles Airport in January.
“The international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens the competitiveness of American businesses and the livelihoods of U.S. workers while funding criminal activity,” said Keith Fleming, CBP’s Acting Director of Field Operations in Baltimore.
“More importantly, counterfeit goods pose a serious health and safety risk to American consumers. Customs and Border Protection, along with our law enforcement and consumer safety partners, remain committed to making it difficult and costly for unscrupulous vendors to take advantage of unsuspecting American consumers.”